After years of trying, the Chana brothers Jasmeet and Ravi have finally gotten their mitts on the Kenya National Rally Championship title with two rounds to spare.
The Nairobi based siblings finished in second place on KMSC Kajiado Rally in Il-Bisil, as Skoda Fabia’s Samman Vohra savoured a career best maiden KNRC victory.
Samman who was navigated by Alfir Khan in a Skoda Fabia Rally 2 clocked 01:36:36.8 to beat Mitsubishi Evolution’s Chana to second (01:43:45.8) as McRae Kimathi (Ford Fiesta) in a time of 01:45:57.3 sealed the podium dash.
But Samman’s big win was overshadowed by Chana’s title victory on a dry and dusty day.
The Rubis Energy Kenya’ sponsored Chanas had their campaign effectively sewn up with an unassailable 196 points score also attaining the newly introduced 50% threshold of participation on the 9-leg series.
Needing to finish just in fifth place on the Kenya Motor Sports Club (KMSC) organized round, the Chanas sped to the podium with zest and vigor.
Jasmeet’s feat means he is one of the few drivers in the country to win virtually all categories of the KNRC from Division 3, Two Wheel Drive, Group N and Group S.
The Chanas now join the growing list of Kenyan legends who have won the coveted national rally title.
They include Baldev Chager, Alastair Cavenagh, Lee Rose, Karan Patel, Partick Njiru, Carl “Flash” Tundo and Rory Green just to name but a few.
“It’s such a great feeling emerging the champion in a very successful year with my elder brother. It hasn’t sunk in yet,” remarked Jasmeet who lost the title last year to Karan on Voi homestretch.
Outgoing champion Karan Patel rested his traditional championship winning Ford Fiesta Rally 2 marque and instead entered his old Evolution X.
Karan is preserving his Fiesta for the penultimate round of the FIA Africa Rally Championship slated for Zambia later in the month.
He was on for a points-scoring finish on his return to Bisil in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X but an overheating problem from SS1 to saw him retire from the event.
Notable absentee on Kajiado Rally was youngster Hamza Anwar who will also be chasing his junior ARC Championship title in Zambia.
Hamza was in Kajiado to offer his cousin Sahabaz Anwar moral support. Shavaz is one of the three drivers who participated in the Clubman category.
The Clubman entrants only ran half of the 161km route course.
Karan’s younger brother Kush Patel also had issues with the boost and elected to to retire.
Final Classification after SS04 Marble 2 (PS)
1 Samman Vohra/Alfir Khan (Skoda Fabia) 01:36:36.8
2.Jasmeet Chana/Ravi Chana (Mitsubishi Evolution 10) 01:43:45.8
3 McRae Kimathi/Mwangi Kioni (Ford Fiesta) 01:45:57.3
4 Jeremiah Wahome/Victor Okundi (Ford Fiesta) 02:00:16.0
5 Asad Anwar/Yusuf Shammer (Datsun 180 B) 02:02:52.8
6 .Jose Sardinha/Assad Mughal (Mitsubishi Pajero) 02:05:17.0
7 Joey Ghose /Arshad Khan (Porsche 911) 02:12:55.7
8 Daren Miranda Linet Ayuko (Subaru Impreza) 02:21:28.1
STANDINGS AFTER RD8 KAJIADO
- Jasmeet Chana 196
- Jeremiah Wahome 106
- McRae Kimathi 102
- Kush Patel 66
- Samman Vohra 55
- Nikhil Sachania 44
- Izhar Mirza 44
- Carl Tundo 39
- Asad Anwar 35
- Karan Patel 34
- Amman Shah 33
- Hamza Anwar 26
- Ian Duncan 25
- Isaa Amwari 23